Neahkahnie Mountain is a very accessible peak, for intermediate and experienced hikers alike. It leads to an incredible view of the coastline to the south, while highlighting the plant and terrain diversity of the area.
The beauty of the Oregon coast is unmatched by most places and many hikes in the area have the goal of allowing the hiker the best view of it. Neahkahnie Mountain is a very accessible peak, even for intermediate hikers. It leads to an incredible view of the coastline to the south, while highlighting the plant and terrain diversity of the area. It is crossed by the Oregon Coast Trail, so the summit is accessible from both sides. The hike described here covers the entire section of trail on this mountain. Being one of the higher points along the coast, the view is sweeping and a better one than you get almost anywhere else. It is a classic coast view that is definitely a must-see for any Portland hiker. From the summit, you can see Neahkahnie Beach, Mazanita, and the beach area that runs to the mouth of the Nehalem River.
What Makes It Great
The first section of trail is lined with a variety of wildflowers in the spring including Coast Fawn Lilies, Salai, Candy Flower, Trailing Blackberry, and Columbia Windflower. As you climb up the switchbacks towards the top, you catch amazing views of the ocean, including the coastal cliffs, which the Oregon coast is known for. When you round the corner to the south side of the northern summit, you will enter an area of dark forest, which goes to show how diverse the terrain of the coast is. Though you have to walk along the highway back to your car, the stonework along this section is amazing and provides a unique backdrop to the amazing views of the coast you can see from the highway.
For this hike, park at the North Neahkahnie Mountain Trailhead and go across the road from the parking area to start on the Oregon Coast Trail. Near the meadow at the top of the hill, the hiker will enter the forest. You will cross the north face of the mountain after you cross the creek. That side of the mountain is filled with wildflowers during the spring including trilliums. You continue to climb the mountain and trail takes you around to the south side of the northern summit. You will soon drop down into a saddle before you begin the final climb to the south summit. You will come to a steep and rocky path to the summit, where the view to the south is breathtaking.
Come back to the main trail and hike down the north side of the ridge, then you will cross an access road and should continue straight down. Head down through some switchbacks into the woods and at the end of the trail, you will exit at the South Neahkahnie Mountain Trailhead. Here, turn right and walk down the road for almost half a mile to Highway 101. Take a right on Highway 101 and the first little stretch is a walk on the side of the highway shoulder. After that, you will reach rockwork from the 1930s that provides a little shelter to the hiker from the road. You will reach your car after about 1.3 miles on 101.
Who is Going to Love It
The hike up this mountain is moderately steep, so it is only recommended for intermediate or experienced hikers.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
To get to the trailhead from Portland, take Highway 26 for about 70 miles to Highway 101 and drive south on 101 for about 15.5 miles. The trailhead parking lot will be a pull of on the right.
The trailhead is open from 6AM to 10PM and overnight parking is not allowed.